It started on a cold attic floor where I stood waiting. I was faced with the internal struggle of coping with my sexuality and my beliefs. I was there staring out of my attic window about to take my last breath, watching the clouds drift as they slowly faded into the winter background of the sky, and into nothingness, or the darkness that had came so quickly. My mind was racing, thinking of what I wouldn’t miss in this world. Images and emotions came to me in waves. I was caught in the riptide of illusions. I was overwhelmed with the image of my mother crying over my gravestone which disabled me from moving any further to the rope I constantly practiced tying with. In a way, I did kill myself that day, or part of me at least, because it severed the bad habits that restricted me from being who I really am. I was freed.
I finally accept myself for who I really am. I don’t see myself as the monster I once did five years ago, but as an activist who eagerly wants to fight for social equality. I saw my life like a phoenix building a nest, consumed by the passion of fire for a new life to replace the old. It was through my most difficult times that I found reason and meaning to live again.
It was my 8th grade year that was the most traumatic for me. My whole belief in life was that nature intended us to reproduce and that was all there was in life: to have a little piece of ourselves in the future. I wanted to fix my homosexuality since it contradicted my views on life, but also because it made me different from the rest of the crowd. I was taught to never to do anything different that would go against my parent’s beliefs and to disobey them meant I would have to face abuse from my father and mother.
My home was not a safe haven since I was bombarded with the views of Asian conservatives. I was faced with physical and emotional abuse at home which only made me want even more to fix myself more so that I wouldn’t have to face my parent’s disappointment and punishment. The lack of encouragement from my parents left me crippled. I was not able to express my individuality so I was left with a cynical view of life. The distractions of school soon came to an end when my paranoia got the best of me.
It was the last few months of 8th grade that I was finally guided by a friend and two teachers. They helped me to reevaluate my beliefs in life and gave me the support that I so desperately wished I had during my childhood. Their encouragement was what I needed in order to grow as a person, to focus my attention on personal growth. I was lost for a time but my new family helped my rebirth and I started learning to live life again like an infant learning to walk. My bad habits started peeling away; it started with my shyness, then my insecurities, and when these walls were finally broken down the constant fears that creped up during social situations and my shortness of breath were gone. I eventually found a reason for living, which is to gain equal status for the LGBT, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community which I slowly started calling my own and to break down stereotypes that the media creates.
During my junior year life started falling into place. I came out of my shell and out of the closet. My friends are still my friends and the ones who knew me before high school remark on how much better I seem now that I am out about my sexuality. I can freely talk about my homosexuality without the fear of rejection and joke around with my friends who I never could have imaged having. In my life before high school I was always “that kid” chosen last in any team sports but it all changed freshman year when my coaches saw my potential, and I have been wrestling at varsity ever since. I’m finally seeing my old self fading away and rising as a leader.
In my life’s confusion I came out stronger, like the phoenix that rises from its ashes. I came out with confidence in myself and a brand new purpose in life with an impeccable personality that I could have never seen myself as five years ago.